Salmon Nicoise Dinner Platter

This is a salad that’s not a salad. It’s an un-salad. No lettuce, no salad, right?!

Salmon Nicoise

I love a good tuna nicoise salad when I’m out for lunch. This recipe is a riff on that salad. Yes, other people have switched the tuna for salmon before (I’m not the first!) but I thought I would try the toppings without the greens. It was good and fun to eat!

Salmon Nicoise

Salmon Nicoise Dinner Platter

For the salad

  • fresh salmon – sprinkle with kosher salt/ pepper and lemon zest. bake at 425 degrees until done
  • fresh green beans – cooked to desired done-ness
  • black and green olives
  • sliced avocado
  • new potatoes, sliced boiled and chilled
  • hard-boiled eggs, sliced
  • tomato chunks

For the vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dijon
  • 1 tablespoon local honey
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

I made the potatoes and hard-boiled eggs earlier in the day and chilled them in the fridge. This was there was a nice combo of warm and cold on the plate. The potatoes were amazing with the dressing…kind of like a no-mayo potato salad.

Arrange on a plate and drizzle with vinaigrette. (you will have extra vinaigrette for a salad the next day) Enjoy!

 

Roasted Cabernet and Citrus Cranberry Sauce

Can I still use the word “Cabernet” in this recipe when I substituted Malbec? Yep!

roasted red wine and citrus cranberry sauce

This “Roasted Malbec and Citrus Cranberry Sauce” is the cranberry sauce you should make for Thanksgiving (or really Christmas since it’s Thanksgiving day now and you probably already have your sauce ready). I’ve eaten a couple spoonfuls already!!

Roasted Cabernet and Citrus Cranberry Sauce

  • 1 (12 ounce) bag fresh cranberries
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest (plus half it’s juice)
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest (plus half it’s juice)
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest (plus half it’s juice)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup Cabernet (or Malbec)
  • 2/3 cup water

Method

  • Preheat over to 425 degrees
  • In an 8×11 baking dish add the washed cranberries, zest and juice from all the citrus and all other ingredients and stir to combine.
  • Roast for 25 minutes. Carefully remove and smash cranberries gently with a spoon. Let cool, stirring occasionally. The sauce will thicken as it cools.
  • Lasts a week (or more) in the fridge. Enjoy!

From Simply Scratch

Summer Berry Pavlova

Considering I had never tasted one of these until I made one, I’m not sure why I was so drawn to the idea. I do know that I saw someone on the Food Network making one and that after hearing the descriptions of “crispy, chewy and light” paired with “homemade whipped cream” and “seasonal fruit” that it absolutely, positively had to be my birthday dessert!!

Here is the shell just out of the oven. It is full of cracks but most the imperfections get covered up by the cream! (**keep scrolling people**)

pavlova

My sister Zandria, soon-to-be brother in law Paul, my son Devin, Travis and I devoured this. Like all of it. Because I read that it would get mushy and be worthless after adding the cream and berries therefore not worth saving for the next day. We sat of the front porch after the sun went down and ate pie until the mosquitoes drove us away 🙂

summer berry pavlova

Excited about my new go-to summer dessert!

Summer Berry Pavola

  • 4 egg whites from extra-large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch

For the whipped cream:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the berry topping:

  • 2 cups sliced strawberries
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons Chambord
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

Method

  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Draw a 9-inch circle on the parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, beat egg whites until stiff but not dry. Gradually add in the sugar, about 1 tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat until thick and glossy. Gently fold in vanilla extract, lemon juice, and cornstarch.
  • Spoon mixture inside the circle drawn on the parchment paper. Working from the center, spread mixture toward the outside edge, building edge slightly. This should leave a slight depression in the center.
  • Bake for 1 hour. Let sit in oven for 45 minutes after baking. Cool on a wire rack.
  • To make the mixed berries: in a medium bowl add sliced strawberries, blueberries, liquor and sugar. Stir. Place in refrigerator until ready to use on dessert.
  • Right before serving make the whipped cream. In a small bowl, beat heavy cream until stiff peaks form; add the sugar and vanilla about halfway through the process; set aside.
  • Remove the paper, and place meringue on a flat serving plate. Fill the center of the meringue with whipped cream, and top with mixed berries.

Slightly Adapted from Allrecipes

Peach BBQ Sauce with Chipotle

This recipe makes the most amazing sauce! It’s the first thing I think about when the fresh, local peaches are in season and this is my 3rd summer making it.

Ingredients for bbq sauce

 

Here it is blended up in my mini food processor.

Peach bbq sauce

The original recipe called for whole chicken breasts to be grilled up. Last week I made a double batch of sauce and prepared skewers with chunks of chicken breast and boneless thighs which we grilled one night then baby back ribs another night!

baby back ribs

Peach BBQ Sauce

  • 1 cup peaches (about 2), sliced into chunks (in season are best)
  • 1/2 cup organic ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons adobo sauce from canned chipotle chiles in adobo (plus 1 of the chilies if you like heat)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 skinless, boneless organic chicken breasts

Method

  • Combine first 5 ingredients in a small saucepan. Season lightly with salt and pepper and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low; simmer until peaches are very soft and flavors meld, about 10 minutes. Remove pan from heat; let cool. Pour peach mixture into a blender and purée until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Place half the sauce in a medium bowl; add the chicken and turn to coat. Let marinate at room temperature for 20 minutes, or cover and chill for up to 8 hours, turning occasionally. Cover and refrigerate remaining sauce.

From Bon Appetit

Tomato and Watermelon Salad with Feta

Tomatoes and watermelon are a match made in heaven. If you haven’t tried the combo before you should soon (like tomorrow!). I looked through several recipes before deciding how I wanted to put my salad together. Feta was usually always added but other than that there were tons a variations going on. I thought some diced up cucumber would be nice for crunch and also decided to add a little green with some arugula.

I got lucky while shopping yesterday and found nice sized tubs of pre-chopped organic watermelon at Ellwood Thompsons for only $1.50 a piece! I grabbed 2 of them 🙂

watermelon and tomato salad

Tomato and Watermelon Salad with Feta

  • 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1 1/2 cups cubed watermelon (make sure it is chilled)
  • 1/2 english cucumber, diced
  • 1 big handful arugula
  • crumbled feta cheese (I used about 1/2 of a block)
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup EVOO
  • kosher salt and pepper to taste

Method

  • In a salad bowl combine the first 5 ingredients. In a separate small bowl whisk together the next 5 ingredients to make a vinegrette. Pour vinegrette over salad…toss…enjoy!

Have you ever

BluePrint Cleanse – Preparation Day 2

My day:

Breakfast

  • warm water with freshly squeezed lemon
  • 1 banana

Exercise

  • walked 5 miles
  • 1 honey crisp apple

Then I drove to King William to visit my sister Angela and my two beautiful nephews!

Laine is 2 1/2 months old. He makes owl noises (hoo-hoo) and is SO adorable!

my nephew, 2 1/2 months

my nephew, 2 1/2 months

His older brother at only 18 months is all about tools. Here is with a “play” drill bit in his mouth. (No! I did not eat any goldfish! Yes, I thought about it.)

nephew #1, 18 months

Lunch

  • Mixed greens and butter lettuce salad with pomegranate arils, shaved fennel, avocado, shallots and orange with a citrus dressing (orange zest, juice, extra virgin olive oil and a little kosher salt and pepper). I made one for Angela and one for me 🙂
  • Earl grey tea

Me and my nephews

Dinner

Blueberry Lemon Muffins

Blueberry Lemon muffins

Here I go again. Making breakfast in advance. With 164 calories, 4 grams fat and 3.5 grams protein they are not bad for you and along with a small banana or cup of yogurt would make a great breakfast I think. Especially when you’re in a hurry to head of to school (or work). I stored the 10 that were left (after Devin and I sampled one) in a large ziplock bag and put in the pantry cabinet where I keep bread.

The sugar on top makes the tops crisp and slightly sweet. The cornmeal and berries together are AMAZING. The lemony flavor added another hint of yummy flavor. I’ll make these again for sure.

Blueberry Lemon Muffins

Blueberry Lemon Muffins

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (I used white wheat flour)
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup organic blueberries (I used frozen)
  • 1 cup low-fat organic buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract (I actually didn’t have any lemons…this never happens!)
  • 1 large egg
  • 12 muffins liners (I used Reynolds StayBright baking cups…they help keep the muffins fresher versus not using liners and just spraying the pan with baking spray)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

Method

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (flour through salt) in a medium bowl. Stir in blueberries; make a well in center of mixture. Combine buttermilk, butter, rind, and egg; stir well with a whisk. Add to flour mixture; stir just until moist.
  • Spoon batter into 12 muffin cups coated with cooking spray; sprinkle evenly with 1 tablespoon sugar. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove muffins from pans immediately; place on a wire rack.

Recipe Slightly Adapted from Cooking Light